training

Getting Back in the Saddle

“One thing that cycling has taught me

is that if you can achieve something without a struggle

it’s not going to be satisfying.”

-Greg LeMond

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Hello Everyone!

I have more exciting news for you all!  Yesterday the hubs and I went out for my first official outdoor ride of the season, and I survived!  In fact, I did better than just survive.  I actually did well!  No one was more surprised by this than me.  I think the hubs was secretly impressed, but he hid it well.  I was so happy because I had been terrified of tipping over repeatedly and getting covered in road rash and chain bites.  However, as soon as I hopped on it all came back to me.  

I immediately remembered how to use my gears, which was a big fear of mine.  I also did MUCH BETTER at balancing than the last time I rode theImage bike path.  This was likely related to all the practice I have had in spin and on the trainer with relaxing- especially my shoulders, which I have a bad habit of keeping by my ears.  It’s amazing how much straighter and more smoothly the bike rides when you aren’t holding it with a death grip… go figure!  

I purposely picked the Cheshire Bike Path (as opposed Lake Waramaug which involves minimal dismounting) so that I would have LOTS of practice unclipping and riding through the lane dividers (aka THE BANE OF MY EXISTENCE) at the intersections.  I also thought the good vibes from PR’ing on the bike path on Sunday might carry over and help calm my nerves.

The hubs spent some time with me teaching me how to coast while balancing on one foot.  He thought it would help me with dismounting at the intersections, which it did- thankfully!  Normally, I have a lot of trouble coming forward off my seat when I dismount, so instead I end up trying to balance on the toes of my unclipped foot.  This generally leads to toppling over at long lights… hence the reason I avoid city riding altogether.  Well that and being a general hazard on the road

That being said, now that I have conquered swimming, I REALLY want to learn to ride my bike like a big girl real cyclist.  Unfortunately, that means getting comfortable with stopping and starting.  I keep telling myself that if I was able to go from not being able to swim properly at all, and being completely anxious about even getting in the water, then I can conquer cycling too.  

Furthermore, I don’t want to settle for just being competent at it, I want to get proficient at it.  Of all the legs of triathlon, you spend the most time on the bike.  It only makes sense to put energy into becoming the best cyclist I can be.  Getting over my fear of seriously maiming myself riding is a necessary evil.  When I took on swimming, I knew it was essential to achieving my goal of one day finishing an Ironman.  As much as I was absolutely terrified, I was also determined.  

Start by doing what’s necessary;

then do what’s possible;

and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

Francis of Assisi

I have never been one to give up on something simply out of fear.  To me, that’s just not a good enough reason.  I don’t ever want to say I didn’t go after something I truly wanted because I was too scared to give my all.  I would rather try and fail.  That is what got Imageme through the swimming.  I was convinced if I could just stick with it that I could do it.  I HAD to do it.  I didn’t consider the fact that I still wasn’t comfortable on my bike.  All I focused on was the task at hand.

Now I am approaching my bike with the same determination.  There is no room for fear.  It is now or never.  I have a roughly 6 week window to get really comfortable on my bike before the REV 3 Half Ironman, and I want to be there.  I know in my heart I can cover the distance.  I have it in me to do it.  If I don’t do it now, I don’t know when I will have another chance.  I have already invested over 6 months of training.  I have learned to swim and spent countless hours running, spinning, cycling, swimming, and cross training in preparation.

That is why I know I will get the hang of this bike, and why I am so thrilled to have survived my first ride unscathed.  I am lucky to have the hubs to back me up.  He loves cycling the way I love running, so if anyone can help me get to where I need to be it’s him.  

Oh and since our ride went so well (we did close to 20 miles at a “good pace”- according to the hubs) I signed up for a duathlon this weekend.  I figured it may be my only chance to practice transition before June.  Plus, it will give me a feel for riding my bike in an actual race.  The hubs says I am ready, so I am going to trust him.  It’s only a 14 mile bike ride, but it’s in downtown Waterbury.  I’m a little nervous about the city riding; but I have been doing well with dismounting so I should be ok.  

Good thing I’ll have my Tough Chik gear!  I swear it gives me super powers that keep me upright!  Maybe it’s just the extra boost of confidence that comes with wearing the logo “This is what Tough Looks Like”.

What adventures are you all taking on this week? 

 

 

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Fear: The Dream Killer

“Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.”
-Dorothy Thompson

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Let’s take a moment to talk about Fear.  We have all experienced it.  Its evolutional function was to keep us safe and alive.  However the problem comes when we are in no real danger and still living in a state of trepidation.  We are no longer living in a time when our lives are perpetually in danger, yet the fear remains.  Don’t think it’s affecting you?  Keep reading.

I grew up in a household with a constant undercurrent of fear.  My father suffers from mental illness and was labeled with a multitude of different diagnoses through my childhood.  While they struggled to find the right combination of meds, we lived with the constant anxiety that he might take off or worse.  My mother had promised to never have him hospitalized, so we saw first hand what he was like unmedicated and in the throngs of full on delusions.  At one point he disappeared for days and we weren’t sure if he was even alive.  With the changes in his meds, his personality also changed.  We never knew who we would be dealing with.  During most of that time he was paranoid, angry, and verbally and emotionally abusive toward my mother.  I learned to be hypervigilant at an early age, always aware of the slightest change in his mood.

The fear from my home life carried over into life outside of our house.  We all were charged with keeping the secret of my father’s illness as if it were something to be ashamed of.  We were not allowed to have friends over, and as a result were rarely invited to our classmates houses or birthday parties.  For the most part, we all coped by excelling in our studies.  I found solace in sports.  I did both cross country and track and joined just about every club in high school.  Anything to be out of the house.  Running was a chance to escape my problems, but it didn’t resolve my deep seeded anxiety.

I was afraid of everything growing up.  I was constantly praying and making deals with God.  I would count everything as way to feel like I had some control.  I’d see programs on aliens and armageddon and be too terrified to sleep.  Every thunderstorm I would curl up in my bed with rosary beads in hand.  I was terrified of going to school, of trying new things, and most of all of failing.  Being perfect was how I coped with my lack of self worth.  It wasn’t until my senior year in high school that I became fed up with living in constant fear and challenged myself to do one thing that frightened me each day.  This is what I wrote about when I filled out my college applications.

By the time I left for college, I was well on my way to becoming my own person.  I was living on my own in the dorms and paying for my own school.  It was the first time I felt comfortable in my own skin.  I started working and volunteering, and spent my summers home constantly out of the house.  Yet, I never managed to escape my anxiety and self esteem issues completely.  Perhaps this is why I I was easily seduced by my abuser.  He frequently complimented me and made me feel like I was the center of his universe.  I would have done anything for him.

It was likely my upbringing that lead me to stay with my abuser so long, unaware of just how much fear and anxiety he had generated in my life- fear of saying or doing something that might upset him, fear of another outburst, fear of him doing something to embarrass me in public.  At no point in our relationship did I even realize I was being abused.  I had mistakingly thought that men who abuse their partners are aware that they are abusive.  In reality, people like my ex truly believe other people are the cause of all their problems and behave toward them accordingly.  This is because people like him are completely incapable of taking responsibility for their own actions and consider their victims the problem, not the other way around.

It was after I left my abuser that my fear and anxiety hit an all time head.  The PTSD symptoms I had were paralyzing.  You know that feeling you get when you are alone in the house at night and you hear a noise?  Imagine feeling like that all the time.  It’s literally exhausting.  It ruled my life, and I hated it.  Running and working out helped.  In fact, they were the only thing that helped– not therapy and not meds.  People see how much I train, and they think I’m super dedicated; but the truth is this is how I cope with my anxiety.  The more I trained, the more I needed to train to get the same sense of calm and relief.  Presently I need to workout 2-3 hours on my days off to feel relaxed the rest of the day.  At least it’s cheaper than therapy though, right?

Now while I realize that most of you have not had to grow up the way I did or deal with PTSD, we are not actually that different.  ImageWhat is different is that my anxiety and fear existed on such a large scale that I had to face them head on.  It was the only way I’d be able to function at all.  Yet, many people live their lives in fear without ever realizing how much it holds them back.

When is the last time you thought about something you wanted to do and then made an excuse to yourself about why you couldn’t or shouldn’t?  That is the fear talking.  Don’t say I could never run a 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon, or ultra.  The question is not a matter of can.  The question is whether you are willing to put in the effort.  Find a way. If it is truly a dream find a way to make it happen.  Get a coach, find a training plan, write inspirational notes to yourself, and build up to the person you need to be to accomplish that goal.  Perhaps you can’t do it now, but that is the point of establishing goals.  It’s a about morphing into a stronger, smarter, and more confident version of yourself.  Mold yourself into someone you can feel proud of.

Plus I will let you in on a little secret: getting outside your comfort zone and pushing yourself, while incredibly uncomfortable while you’re doing it, feels BEYOND AMAZING once you’ve done it!  It is one of the best feelings in the world- and it doesn’t matter how big or small the goal is.  The more you do it, the easier it gets.  Maybe the first step in your case is just to believe you can.  That’s ok because we all have to start somewhere.  It’s your journey and the only person you should compare yourself to is who you were yesterday.  Make a commitment to yourself to grow into the person you have always dreamed of being.  Along the way you will learn to truly love and accept yourself; and the everyday fear of not being good enough will slip away.  It’s amazing how little you care about what other people think of you when you are truly happy with the person you’ve become.

Fear is just an obstacle getting in the way of your dreams, and it’s time to get over it.  Don’t let your inner critic hold you back.  He or she is just bitter about your awesomeness.  You are strong, inspiring, and courageous.  You have talents and gifts that need to be shared with the world.  It’s your time to start living fully and leave any lingering reservations in the dust.

Repeat after me: Today I stand no longer afraid.

I am not afraid to try new things– Sure it may be scary, but it’s what makes me feel like I am living!

I am not afraid of being disliked– I’m a great person.  I put others ahead of myself and truly care about the people in my life from friends and family to my employees and patients.  If other people can’t appreciate that, it’s truly their loss.

I am not afraid to fail– Because, hey, at least I am trying!  If I do fail or DNF then at least I know I’m testing my limits!  Have you ever stopped to think what you might be capable of if you just tried?  If you never try then how would you know?

I am not afraid to bear my soul– This blog is 100% me and my truth.  I am not going to hold anything back.  I would rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not.  People can go ahead and judge, but I am going to stay true to myself.  How would I be any help to anyone else here if I wasn’t?

Who’s with me?  What fears are you ready to give up?

 

Enough! Recap and Taking On the Bucket List

“If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster,

your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.”
-Les Brown

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Back when I wrote about My Grown Up Bucket List, I never imagined how quickly I would be crossing items off it.  Today I did just that!  Last week I signed up for the Enough! Race to End Domestic Violence much in the same manner as I signed up for the Lavery McDermott Race To End Domestic Violence– at the last minute.  Also as with the Lavery/McDermott Race, I volunteered with CT-ALIVE and staffed a table pre & post race to give the crowd information about the work we do and our mission to empower women to take the step from survivor to Thriver.

Initially, I was a little worried about running today because the temperature was supposed to be a record 70 degrees… which is a great deal warmer than what it has been recently and not exactly the most comfortable temp for running.  After distinctly thinking how much happier I would be with a cooler run at 50 degrees, I got in my car to find the temp was exactly 50.  I decided at that point that the universe and I were in line, and it would be a great day.  I was not disappointed!  

Since I have been tapering for my ultra next weekend, my body was not as run down from training as it typically is.  I also had plenty of time to sleep in and hydrate (after my 15 hr shift the day before) because the start wasn’t until 10 am.  This probably contributed to the great mood I woke up in.  For some reason, I just felt completely ready to rock it.

My good vibes continued when I arrived to check in without any issues, traffic, or difficulty with parking, and found my race number had not one, but two sevens in it!  Seven is my lucky number!  (Don’t ask me why, it just is…)   I took this as a definite positive sign.  The 50 degree temp and double sevens could not be coincidence… not as far as I was concerned anyway…

ImageBeyond just being pumped that the race was for a great cause (one especially near and dear to my heart… as we all know), I was excited to see the some other ladies from CT-ALIVE and catch up.  Since becoming a supervisor, my work schedule has made it difficult to keep up with a lot of the going ons and meetings with the board.  Both Susan Omilian, our project director and “My Avenging Angel Workshop” facilitator, and Vanessa Stevens of the Purple Song Project were there, so I had a chance to chat with them.  Susan is the woman who helped me rediscover myself after abuse; and Vanessa is a fellow domestic abuse survivor and thriver who has been a constant source of inspiration and support.  It was great to see them both. I was excited to hear that Susan is interested in guest blogging here, so stay tuned for what I am sure will be an inspiring post!

As far as the race, the course was the hilliest 5K I have ever run!  The first mile and a half was basically all up hill, and then second half was up and down.  The were essentially no flat parts.  It was brutal!  But the support from the volunteers and crowd at the finish were great and almost made up for the quad busting course.  Races that are put on for good causes always have an awesome vibe and this was no exception!

Starting the race, my legs were not feeling as fresh as I had hoped… but then I wouldn’t recommend working a 15 hr shift the day before a timed run. lol  I still managed to maintain what felt like a strong and steady pace in spite of the hills.  At the start when my legs didn’t feel great I told myself that “The first mile is a liar.”  Once I reached the first mile marker and saw I was at 7:20, I was pretty pleased.  

In general, I view the last 5K of a half marathon as the final stretch, so my mantra during this entire race was “I’m in the final stretch.”  When I felt crummy, I compared it to the last 5K of a half marathon and then ran harder.  At the halfway point I was congratulated by a volunteer for being the “3rd female overall.”  HOLY COW!  I have never seeded that high in a race before!

I held my position until the last mile when another two ladies managed to pass me.  I was bummed to lose out on my top three position, but knew I was running as hard as I could.  I reminded myself that was all that mattered.  In the last half mile I saw Vanessa singing on the course and yelled to her.  I knew I was almost done and was so happy to see a familiar face!  The finish came up quickly and I secured a time of 24:30.  I knew I was 5th overall for the women, which is the highest I have ever finished in a race.  

Then came a bigger surprise!  They announced me as first in my age group!!!! YES! Bucket List Item Checked!!!! I even got a little plaque to commemorate my achievement.  It was epic.

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The hubs and I celebrated by going out for lunch and then ice cream, which is normally a treat I reserve for finishing half marathons. In this case though, I thought it was well earned.

In other epic news:

Sole Sister Brook Kreder of Brook’s First Marathon asked to share my story on her blog… which is hilariously awesome and you should read it btw… and not just because she featured me either. Her escapades literally make me laugh out loud.   

A Quick Recap

Life is a song – sing it.

Life is a game – play it.

Life is a challenge – meet it.

Life is a dream – realize it.

Life is a sacrifice – offer it.

Life is love – enjoy it.

-Sai Baba
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Hello All!

A lot has been going on since my last post!  For starters, we found a new home for Ellie through HeavenSent Bulldog Rescue.  The volunteer came to pick her up and take her to her new owner on Saturday.  We were very sorry to give her up, but happy to know she is at least going to a great home where she will be spoiled rotten.  Regardless, it still stung a little when she took off with the volunteer and jumped in her car without even looking back.  It was as if she new she was going to her forever home.  I haven’t cried about it yet today, so I guess that’s progress.

1606769_10151924501192397_1605137012_oIn other (less bittersweet) news, the hubs has made an effort to show his support of my new found love of swimming by surprising me with a water proof ipod!  It always amazes me the things he picks up on when I’m talking to (or at) him… Sometimes I wonder if he even listens (truthfully, most of the time I think he just tunes me out).  However in this case, he happened to pick up on the fact that I had entered a giveaway for one on Swim Bike Mom’s blog.  I told him I had read that ear plugs are recommended for open water swimming and joked that I should just invest in the ipod instead.  I had never in a million years thought he would go out and buy me one!  I haven’t actually had a chance to use it yet, but I am definitely pumped about trying it out.  I think may start with some classical music (to help with the swimming anxiety) but am open for suggestions on a swimming playlist.

On that note, swimming classes have been going fairly well.  I have been swapping back and forth between the beginner and intermediate lanes based on the coaches mood and number of people in the class.  I have basically found that whatever lane I choose will be the wrong one, so I generally will pick the beginner lane to start… being promoted is better on the ego than demoted after all.  😉  Yesterday I also did a 3 hour swim clinic with the Tri Club: same coaches, same freezing pool, with the addition of the Tri Club members and the hubs.  I have to admit it was a little refreshing to watch the hubs struggle with some of the drills… not because I enjoyed watching him suffer, but because my hard work actually gave me an edge over his natural athletic talent for a change!

Beyond swimming, training in general continues… though I will admit I’ve been slacking on the running.  That may 1977169_10152302040113637_772837830_nbe why I gained a couple pounds at the last weigh in…. Or it could have been the pizza, doritos, and brownie sundae I binged on after giving up Ellie…  Regardless, the hubs and I DEMOLISHED our challenge this week for the Fit Challenge of jumping rope 3000 times a piece.  Currently we continue to hover in third place with the last of the challenges now done (GO TEAM RICE!)  Next week will be a repeat of our fit test, and the following week will be our last weigh in- that means we are almost done!  (Happy dance! No more scale!)  While I gained at the last weigh in, the hubs was down to 194 lbs which he was pretty pleased with himself about.  With any luck (and his weight loss), we might just sneak up to second place.

As far as all the other craziness going on recently, my mom has sold her house and bought a new one to downsize.  That has meant I’ve spent a considerable amount of my free time trying to help her clean, pack, and move some of her belongings to my place for temporary storage.  So my spare room is crammed to the ceiling, but luckily that is easily remedied by shutting the door.  As if that weren’t enough going on, I also have been promoted to a management position at work, which essentially means I work more hours for free. 😉

So there you have it: Ellie drama, parents moving, job promotion, new waterproof ipod, and continued training.

Despite all the craziness, I have managed find a few good reads recently which I’ve added below:

How about you? Anything crazy going on in your life?  Any good reads recently?

My body may feel crappy, but my heart is soaring…

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”

-Margaret Thatcher
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For a change today, I think I am going to start my update in the present and work back.  For starters, I feel like absolute poo today!  (I’m pretty sure it’s partly my own fault) Rather than wait until I’m feeling better to post (because who knows when I’ll have time again!) I figured I’d take advantage of my gift for multitasking and update you all today. You’re welcome!
I was already a little under the weather when I woke up on Saturday for my night shift (14+ hours of call with no rest for the weary!).  I had hoped that since I got my ass kicked slammed the rest of the week that the call gods would take pity on me, but no such luck.  Sunday I stayed awake just long enough to weigh in (139.2!) with the hubs (197.6!) and finish our Bingo Card Challenge… and then grab a really high calorie meal (Plan B Burger… YUM! I have no regrets btw).  I crashed for most of the day and then had to work another 13 hr shift again yesterday.
Needless to say, I was not in the spryest condition when I dragged myself out of bed at 4 AM this morning (On my day off!) to go to the pool.  Just because I didn’t suffer enough public embarrassment at my last round of Masters Swimming, I actually signed up AGAIN!  Yes, same pool troll.  What can I say?  She’s kind of grown on me.  Plus, I need all the help I can get with the swim and bike, so off to session one of Masters Swimming I went (at 4 o’clock in the freakin morning).
Because the morning coach (somehow, despite being nicer) usually has harder workouts, I was expecting to feel like I was about to drown for most of the class… like 59 out of 60 minutes.  I have not been as diligent with my independent swimming as I could have been, and I was afraid I was going to pay for it.  However, I was pleasantly surprised that I not only didn’t drown, but also kept up with one of the swimmers I have been admiring from afar (she’s always Imageswimming on my way to and from spin and makes it look so effortless… and no I don’t stalk her, it happens to be the view on the way!)
We only swam a little over a mile in that hour, which is less than what I have been doing on my own.  In general, I try to get up to 2000 m before I get out (in an effort to make that distance seem routine on race day… whenever that turns out to be). I was pleasantly surprised when we got out of the pool and I wasn’t even tired.  Whats more, while swimming I had no screaming lungs, no bright white light or tunnel vision, AND I was able to do whole 75’s and 100’s without stopping.  Okay, so it was only one 100 m, but it was still a big deal to me!
After my awesome swim, I decided to get some miles on the treadmill before our session with the trainer.  I logged another 6 miles at an average of 8:20 pace, which brought me to 56 miles for this month and over 100 miles for the year.  My run also felt pretty good… aside from the part where I accidentally hit the emergency stop lever and had to start over.
I did make an effort to have a protein shake between my swim and run.  Then I also added an amino acid mix to my water during the run and finished the whole bottle during the run.  In between my run and the workout with the trainer, I scarfed a quick granola/nut/protein bar.  Since I only had a banana before my swim (it was literally all I could choke down at that hour), I am pretty sure I was still low on fuel.  The workout with the trainer was with a kettlebell and consisted of 5 rounds of 15 reps of each of the following: swings, squat with row, figure-eight (I was horribly uncoordinated as these and have the bruises to prove it!), then regular squats and Russian twists holding the kettlebell.  The hubs sailed through his reps, but my kettlebell literally felt like it weighed 100 lbs.  I made it through all 5 rounds with short breaks between exercises to give my bad shoulder a break.  Once we finished, we predictably had to do the whole thing AGAIN.  This time I opted for a lighter 20 lb dumbbell which made things slightly more awkward but irritated my shoulder significantly less.  Following the second time through all 5 god-forsaken-rounds, we had to do 10 minutes on the stepper at a “fast” pace. We all know how much I love the stepper, so we will just leave it at that.
By the first time through I was running on fumes.  I struggle with my shoulder on the kettlebell stuff on a good day.  Trying to do a whole kettlebell workout after swimming and running was laughable at best.  By the time we finished the second go and did the stepper, I was only managing by sheer determination.  It took me a few minutes of rest to feel like myself enough to head to the car.  After showering I was mostly feeling hungry, but after breakfast I started to have GI issues.  I figured it was from pushing too hard without hydrating enough, however now that I am having shaking chills I’m just praying it’s not the flu.  (BTW shaking chills suck majorly… and makes it difficult to type).  1621819_590464874377485_9095596_nNow I know what  you are thinking “Silly girl! Why don’t you get some rest?” The thing is it’s a little difficult when you are a) uncomfortable, b) shaking uncontrollably (this is some skilled one handed typing going on btw), and c) can’t stay out of the bathroom for more than 10 minutes… come to think of it, I may have zofran hidden in there somewhere.  Besides, it ‘s going to take a a little more than some silly chills and gi upset to keep this girl out of commission.  A girl’s got a things to do and LOTS to be excited about. 😉
Speaking of which, the good news is that in the midst of all the chaos this week, I got a very exciting delivery from Swim Bike Mom!   I had mentioned to her that I was sorry I had purchased the kindle addition of her book instead of the hardcopy (you know, so I could cuddle it and curl up with it at night).  Well, in addition to being an inspiring athlete and writer, she is also super generous and sent me a paperback copy of her book!  How AWESOME is that!?!  Now I have my very own copy of the Triathlon Bible to carry with me everywhere I go. 😉
In the spirit of giving and paying it forward, I am planning a Triathlon for Every Woman giveaway (my personal gift to you), so that one of you lucky readers too can be awed and inspired by Swim Bike Mom as well!  Stay tuned for more details!

When you can’t fit it all in one post…

“What winning is to me is not giving up, is no matter what’s thrown at me, I can take it. And I can keep going.”

Patrick Swayze
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So I realized that in all my fervor and adoration for Triathlon For Every Woman, I forgot to update you all about the Fitness Challenge. Since we were going to be away and unable to complete the challenge during the week, our trainer (who is running the challenge) allowed us to do it before we left.  It consisted of doing as many box jumps as possible in one minute.  My box was 12 inches and the hubs had one 18 inches.  I was pretty sure I did close to 60 and the hubs had close to 50, but the trainer said he only recorded me at 49 and the bubs at even less… which I think is his attempt to keep us from winning (due to the fact that we are already awesome!)  Of course, his attempts have been thwarted because we are still in third place despite his meddling.  Muahahahaha! Go Team Rice!

In truth, I really don’t care at all about winning, especially given that I am only in this thing to be supportive of the hubs.  However, I am certainly not going to ever miss an opportunity to give the trainer a hard time, especially when he is trying not to give me credit for my hard work.  He did offer to let us redo the challenge yesterday when I called him out on it, but I told him that wouldn’t be fair since the challenge had passed.  We are going to play by the rules even if he isn’t. 😉

Our challenge this week consists of accomplishing everything listed on the bingo card below.  The hubs and I already knocked out a lot of it yesterday and only have a few more tasks left each.  So far I have completed the 100×2 lunges, 100×2 jump lunges, 100 squats, 100 jump squats, 100 toe touches, 100 sit ups, 100 jumping jacks, 200 mountain climbers, 50 box jumps, 100 kettlebell swings, 50 burpees (oh the suck!), 100 rope swings, 200 jump ropes, 100 pushups, 50 chin ups, 50 pull ups, 50 dips, and 5K (in 24:35).  The hubs is a little behind and still needs to do the chin ups, pull ups, and dips… in addition to the rest we have left.

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Looking back at all we did yesterday, now I don’t feel as bad that I was sucking wind so badly on my swim the following morning…

As far as our weigh in this week, my weight stayed exactly the same at 140.3 and the hubs was up about a pound.  What I learned from this is that I can actually stuff my face and eat whatever I want (like in San Diego, yum!) as long as a run 20 miles a week… or there’s a good chance that I’m not getting in enough calories to keep up with what I normally do in a week and that is why my weight never changes regardless of how healthy I eat.  I know… I need to work on that. :-/

The good news is, I am already trying to get more healthy calories in.  Yesterday I went grocery shopping and got lots of fruits and vegetables.  The only problem is that it is a huge chore to only eat clean and still get in enough calories. Healthy food just doesn’t have enough calories in it!  Plus it just isn’t feasible for me to being eating every 2 hours at work, which is how often I am hungry ready to pass out if I don’t eat.  At some point I may need to sit down with a dietician and figure this eating things out.  Lucky for me, I happen to be surrounded by them.

In the meantime, I may just have to get by eating everything in sight. jk… sort of….

Why I have the Best Husband Ever

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength,

while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
-Lao Tzu 

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Before I get into details of why I have the best husband ever, I should probably update you all on how the Fitness Challenge is going.  Our last weigh in I came in at 140.3 lbs.  I have been pretty much hovering in a 2 lb swing between 140 and 142, and that is totally ok with me.   The hubs was down to 200.3, which is over 10 lbs down from where he started.  I am so proud of him! He has been super committed to getting fitter, and his dedication is paying off.  Not that I really thought he needed to lose weight, but if he is happy then I am happy.  Plus, he has been much more energetic and upbeat since he started eating better and working out more regularly which is a Imagetotal bonus for me!  🙂

Our challenge this week was to attend a session of boot camp.  Since I was working for every other session, Thursday was the day for me.  The hubs decided he would rather go together than on his own, so he came too.  The workout consisted of a lot of sprints (yuck!) with various other exercises mixed in (butt kicks, side shuffles, planks, calf raises, walking lunges, and wall sits…).  For some reason my legs were really fried, which sort of surprised me after not having done a leg work out in several days.  I chalked it up to doubling up on legs last week and not adequately recovering due to working so much and not sleeping enough.  We both made it through the workout without any issue; however, when I was still hurting the following day, I decided to take a rest day to try and combat all the soreness and general fatigue.  Despite the reprieve, my legs were still feeling tweaky the following morning.  That lead to a modified workout with the trainer, which was a total bummer… especially when Adam got to do the real workout.  I did at least get in some spin and time on the bike trainer though (I still hate the trainer btw).

That leads me to why my husband is so great.  I never imagined falling for someone who could be so quietly supportive.  Sure he’s not ever going to be the type of guy to show up with signs or a cowbell at a race, or shout his love for me to the masses.  However, he is the kind of guy who will run a race with me when I’m not sure I can finish it… even if he hasn’t trained and my pace is painfully slow for him.  He’s the type to come to the pool with me because he knows that swimming makes me anxious.  He’s the kind of guy who, when I bought him the fancy GPS he was drooling over for his bike, bought an extra mount for mine so I could use it too.  He also regularly goes out of his way to get me thoughtful gifts to encourage me to train, like the heart rate and cadence monitors (to go with the fancy GPS) so I can track my mileage on the aforementioned bike trainer.  That’s in addition to setting it up for me every time I want to use it because he knows I am too technology impaired to figure it out for myself.  He even goes out of his way to set my Imagebike up in the trainer (even though that I can actually handle myself) every time I use it just to let me know he cares… or maybe he’s afraid I’ll break it… jk

In all seriousness though, he has been beyond patient when it comes to anything to do with cycling- from the numerous trips to bike shops, to the agonizing over which bike to pick, to driving to Mass to get the bike I initially fell in love with, to making sure I had a flat repair kit and kick ass girlie water bottles.  Beyond that, he made a huge effort to find the most scenic and beginner friendly cycling routes in the area to help alleviate my fear of riding.  He even got me a Tough Chik chick gift card for Christmas so I could buy the bike apparel I’d been eyeing in an effort to encourage me to stick with it.

When it came to my birthday this year, he literally could not wait to give me the gift he picked out.  It’s still 9 days before my birthday, yet I am now the owner of a Garmin Forerunner GPS watch.  He was so excited to explain all the features.  I felt a little badly because I think he expected me to get as pumped as he was about it.  However, I will be the first to admit that I am not, by far, a gadget person.  I do use Runkeeper on my phone when I run, but I usually throw it in my hydration pack and use it mainly to track mileage.  I am not someone who ever had any interest in a GPS watch (other than maybe for swimming because I suck at counting laps); however, the hubs is a master at purchasing gifts.  He specifically picked one that pairs with my heart rate monitor, so I can get a more accurate measure of how many calories I burn and how hard I’m working.  I am sure I will be more excited about it once I get the hang of using it.  Luckily, I know a cute guy whose willing to help me figure it out. 😉

I know there are a lot of ladies out there who love when their men get them expensive jewelry or designer handbags, but I prefer a good pair of running shoes.  Lucky for me, I have a guy who gets it.  Just about every favorite piece of gear I’ve had from winter apparel to hiking boots and gadgets has been carefully selected by the man of my dreams.  The hubs has a special gift for getting me things I never thought I’d want or need yet now I can’t imagine living without.  More than that, he’s the type of person who put together a 10 hr playlist for my first 50K just to make my run suck a little less.  

When I was with my abuser, I was convinced that he would have done anything for me if I just asked… After the wedding fiasco, we all know just how wrong that was.  The hubs, on the other hand, truly would do anything for me.  He enjoys helping and finding ways to make me happy.  While I’m a firm believer that everyone deserves back what they are willing to put into a relationship, I’m not sure I ever thought I’d be lucky enough to find that person.  Now I feel blessed to know I have.